You guys know The Noob's Tarnished Gold? Yeah, this isn't like that. :P
Although I was inspired to write this because of TG, I can't say it's all that similar. It's not a crackfic, for example. I'm just chronicling the adventures of Steven Stone on his quest to become champion of the Hoenn region. Ever wonder who the champion was before Steven? Which Elite Four and Gym Leaders were around back then? You're reading the right story!
Chapter 1: Steven Stone of Rustboro City
Chapter 2: Wallace, Rival Extraordinaire!
Chapter 3: Rustboro Gym Leader Clay
Chapter 4: Forest A-Go-Go
Chapter 5: A Minor Setback
Chapter 6: To Petalburg!
Chapter 7: The Sour Taste of Defeat
Chapter 8: The Little Water-Type that Could
Chapter 9: Big Trouble in Littleroot
Chapter 10: The Prodigy
Chapter 11: Grand Vizier Set
Chapter 12: Prepare to Set Sail!
Chapter 13: Route 105
Chapter 14: The Ruin Maniac
Chapter 15: Battle at the Ruins
Chapter 16: Granite Gambit
Chapter 17: Iron Aron
Chapter 18: Silva
Chapter 19: Rumble in Dewford
Chapter 20: SOS SS Cactus!
Chapter 21: Raging Gyarados
Chapter 22: Rescue
Chapter 23: Slateport Harbor
Chapter 24: The Living Dead
Chapter 25: Slateport Under Siege!
Chapter 1: Steven Stone of Rustboro City
The boy who laid on his back on his messy king-size bed yawned, tossing a Poké Ball into the air and catching it repeatedly. His dyed-gray hair, which was naturally brown, reflected the golden light of the extravagant chandelier hanging from the high ceiling, and his steel-gray eyes gazed into space, bored. The floor of the bedroom was littered with stones from around the world: Moon Stones from the Kanto region, Sun Stones from Johto, and even a meteorite or two from around Hoenn. A small, blue, cylindrical Pokémon with a single red eye hovered curiously over to the boy.
“Beldum?” it inquired, slowly, almost dumbly.
The boy sighed. “Oh, nothing, Beldum. I'm just bored, as usual.”
“Beldum! Bel-Beldum,” the Pokémon suggested.
“But you know how dad is, Beldum. I've never been outside of Rustboro City, let alone all the way to the Petalburg Woods!” the boy replied, easily understanding his Pokémon's speech.
The boy sighed, exasperated. He was so tired of living in luxury, having everything done for you, and not ever being able to go anywhere! He was tired of being known only as “Mr. Stone's son” or “Stone boy”. He wanted to be himself. He wanted people to know his name!
“Beldum!” Beldum declared. Its head began to give off a silver glow, and it shot forward, ramming an imaginary enemy with an Iron Head attack.
“I know you want to go, too, Beldum, but dad won't let me. He won't have his only son, heir to the Devon Corporation, go off on his own like that,” the boy said, closing his eyes and mocking his father. Both the boy and his Beldum fell silent.
Suddenly, a loud gurgling growl broke the silence. The boy groaned, rubbing his stomach hungrily, and sat up, glancing over at the clock on the wall above the oak dresser. Just on time, the wooden figure of a small blue and white bird with a yellow beak and red forehead burst from behind tiny wooden doors, chirping, “Taillow!” twelve times, before retreating.
“I guess it's time to go get lunch,” the boy said. Beldum nodded, and the two left the bedroom, coming out into a hallway decorated with rocks and stones inside rectangular glass cases, which reflected the line of golden chandeliers identical to that in the boy's room.
A maid dressed in a black and white uniform smiled graciously at him, her dark brown hair hanging around the fronts and backs of her shoulders, as she passed him on her way to the laundry room, at the opposite end of the hall. “Good afternoon, Master Steven,” she said.
Steven smiled back. “Hello.” He took comfort in the fact that the staff at the Stone Mansion knew his name, but it just wasn't enough to drive that feeling of being cast into a role he didn't want out of his heart.
He strolled down the long crimson rug, one of many that ran down the center of every hallway in the house. Beldum floated just behind him, three gray metal toes working. Steven's stomach growled again, louder this time, before he came into the kitchen. Counters lined the opposing walls on either side of the entrance, with an island in the middle. The aroma of cooked sandwich meat and fresh bread tantalized Steven's taste buds. A large man with a hair net over his scraggly gray beard stood, dressed entirely in white, chopping brown meat gracefully, moving his fingers away from the sharp edge of the knife with each chop.
“Hey, Jacques,” he said absently.
The chef set his knife aside on the sparkling counter top, and turned, his tall white hat causing pans hanging from a rack overhead to clang together. “Bonjour, monsieur Steven!” he greeted. “Ze sandwiches, zey are almost complete!” he said, raising a fist into the air for emphasis.
Steven chuckled. “Great! I'm hungry.”
“Zey will be ready post-haste,” Jacques said, before returning to his work.
Steven watched as the chef sliced the meat effortlessly into several pieces. Without looking up, he reached over and grabbed a plate full of slices of freshly-baked bread, yanking it over closer to the meat. Using the knife, Jacques elegantly flipped three or four slices of meat onto either of two slices of bread, and then the third and fourth slices of bread onto the now-complete sandwiches.
Jacques reached into a drawer below him, and produced a brown paper bag, and flipped one sandwich inside it, before rolling up the top, grabbing the plate with the other sandwich, and turning to Steven. “Here you are,” he said. “Bon appétit!”
Steven took the plate and sat the brown bag on it, and hungrily devoured his sandwich, too starved to savor the flavor of the meat, which had just been bought at the local market that morning. “What is this?” Steven asked, mouth still full of the final bite of meat and bread, indicating the bag.
“Ze maid who usually takes ze sandwiches to monsieur Stone is sick today. I zought you would like some exercise and fresh air,” Jacques answered with a knowing smile.
Steven's face lit up as he swallowed the remnants of the sandwich. “Thanks, Jacques!”
Jacques simply smiled as Steven sat the plate on the island and rushed out the door opposite the entrance he'd just gone through, around the long table of the dining room and its ten chairs on each side, silky white tablecloth fluttering in the air conditioning, then into the spacious living room, then through the open doorway into the main foyer, with its grand staircases leading to the second floor and its many guest bedrooms, and out the front door, which he was careful to shut behind him.
He paused, gazing out at the estate, the lengthy, complex, maze of high-growing shrubbery, the tall white fence that surrounded the property, and the long, winding gravel driveway that led from the road, around the side of the house, to the multi-car garage in the back. With Beldum following closely, Steven took off down the driveway, the gravel crunching audibly under his feet and sandwich rustling in the paper bag. He stopped next to the mail box, next to the road, breathing hard, and caught his breath, before starting off down the side of the road at full speed.
The Devon Corporation headquarters loomed high above the rest of Rustboro City. It was built of yellow bricks, and stood five stories high. Steven sped past houses and the local market, and turned down the road that ran in front of the building.
He slowed to a stop in front of the glass double-doors, and pushed hard. His body was forced backwards by the recoil, and he shook his head and rubbed his temples. He squinted at the lettering engraved in the golden handle, and his face turned red when he realized that it said “Pull”. He quickly entered the building, waving to the receptionist at the front desk, and took the first staircase two steps at a time. Scientists worked at bulky computers, not glancing up at him. He passed them and came to the next staircase on the opposite side of the room, and shot up those, and the next staircase after that, slowing down slightly, and the next, and the next, before finally arriving in his father's office on the fifth floor, panting.
“Steven, my boy!? What brings you here?” President Stone said.
“The maid that usually brings you lunch is out today,” Steven replied between breaths. He walked slowly to the large desk his father sat behind, and handed the brown paper bag to him. Mr. Stone unrolled the top of the bag and pulled the sandwich out before tossing the bag into a nearby waste basket.
“Steven, you know how I feel about you leaving the grounds,” Mr. Stone said.
“I know, dad, but I need the exercise. I can't be cooped up at home all day everyday!” Steven said, waving his arms at his sides.
“Beldum!” Beldum said, reinforcing Steven's point.
“Steven, you're only fifteen. You only have one Pokémon. What if Beldum is taken out of battle? It only knows Take Down and Iron Head. You can't just go out whenever it strikes your fancy!”
“But nothing!,” Mr. Stone said, red-faced. “Look at yourself, you haven't even changed out of your pajamas!”
Steven's head jerked down and he realized his father was right. He'd been so caught up in finally getting to leave the house, he'd forgotten to even change clothes! How could Jacques not tell him?
“Listen, dad, I know this looks bad, but nobody really even saw me! I ran all the way here!”
“You ran here? That's even worse! What if you didn't see a car coming and it hit you? You're my only son! The only heir I have! What, am I supposed to just leave the company to a total stranger when I retire?”
“Dad...” Steven whined.
Mr. Stone waved his hand dismissively. “Go on, now. Go back home. I'll decide your punishment when I get home this evening. I'll have Clay walk with you there.”
“Dad, I don't want the Gym Leader of Rustboro City escorting me home in my pajamas!” Steven protested.
“Then you shouldn't have come in them.” Mr. Stone spun around in his chair, and munched angrily on his sandwich, tearing a large bite out of it.
Steven let out a sad sigh. His shoulders sunk, and he looked down at the ground. He turned and began to make the long climb back down the stairs. Behind him, he heard his father dial in the Rustboro Gym's phone number on his telephone. “Clay? This is Mr. Stone...”
The workers gave him odd looks as he passed them, and his face flushed red, embarrassed. When he pushed through the doors on the ground floor, he looked around, and didn't see the Gym Leader. He took a deep breath, and shot back off toward the mansion.
He didn't return anybody's glances as he passed them on their ways to their favorite spots around the city to take lunch breaks. He just ran. Ran, with Beldum close behind.
He stormed through the mansion toward his room, let Beldum through, and slammed it behind him. He dropped to his knees on the floor and clenched his fists. “I can't believe this. I'm being punished for taking my dad his lunch? The main office isn't even that far away! It's not like some over-powered Mightyena is just going to jump out of the bushes and eat me!” Steven growled in frustration.
Then his head perked up. He didn't even realize the television was on. On its somewhat small screen, a battle was raging between Drake of the Elite Four and a challenger. The challenger's Slaking had already seriously injured Drake's most powerful Pokémon, his Salamence. Steven edged closer to the TV, entranced by what he saw.
The Slaking picked its nose at its trainer's next command, and suffered a Dragon Claw to the face. Angered, the Slaking then leapt to its own defense upon its trainer's urging, and flung its own body at Salamence's face, knocking it out of the battle with a Giga Impact attack. The majestic dragon-type Pokémon collapsed, and disappeared in a flash of red light, returning to its Poké Ball. The challenger and Drake approached the center of the ruined battlefield and shook hands, although the angle of the camera made it impossible to see the challenger's face.
Steven had heard rumors about a trainer who had defeated all eight Gym Leaders of the Hoenn region, and in fact, the Rustboro Gazette had gotten exclusive coverage of the battle between this challenger and Clay of the Rustboro Gym, and the battle had been plastered all over the front page for days. He regretted not paying any attention to the many articles several months ago, but it was too late.
Either way, someone had actually done it- someone had actually managed to defeat the Hoenn region's Elite Four, and there was finally a champion. This made Hoenn the first region to have one. It would surely be a major story all across the country, not just Hoenn. He could see it now, news programs and papers and books all about how one extremely talented trainer from the Hoenn region had at last conquered an entire Pokémon League! It'd be all over from here to Sinnoh!
Steven turned his gaze to the window, and the forest to the north of the city beyond. A flock of Taillow took flight from the sprawling trees. A few Swablu followed suit. To the east, a Zigzagoon raced agilely between trees, disappearing from sight and reappearing repeatedly. A Skitty rubbed its face with a front paw.
He opened his window and leaned out of it, breathing in the cool, salty air blowing in from the ocean to the northwest, hearing the buzzing chirp of several Nincada as they left their underground burrows tentatively, keeping out of sight of any potential predators.
Suddenly, feeling excitement flood his veins, Steven shouted, “I'm leaving, whether my dad likes it or not! Soon, Hoenn, you will all know who I am! I am Steven Stone of Rustboro City!”